Winter is upon us, (lacking of snow in Niagara), and with that, I thought it would be a good time to remind everyone of some winter hiking tips. I found this short informative winter hiking article on the Bruce Trail web site and thought it was perfect for our group.
When temperatures dip and snow blankets the Niagara Escarpment, the Bruce Trail can feel like our own winter wonderland. But winter hiking brings its own set of challenges. Here are a few important ways you can stay safe while hiking this winter.
Check weather conditions before heading out and be prepared for them to change.
Choose a route that is familiar to you. When trails are covered in snow, it can be harder to find your way. Be extra attentive in looking for trail blazes.
Avoid hiking alone. Bring a friend or two for safety and fun.
Plan for earlier, shorter days
Choose a shorter distance than you would normally cover in summer conditions. Snow and ice will slow your hiking speed.
Nightfall arrives earlier in winter months. Start early in the day and plan to be off the trail before dark.
Pack a flashlight or headlamp, with fresh batteries.
Wear and pack layers
Staying dry is key to staying warm in the winter and layers will help you do both.
Start with a good base layer, add a mid-layer, and then a shell on top. Cover your head, neck and hands. Add or remove layers to minimize sweating.
Don’t overdress at the beginning. You should feel slightly chilly before you start as you’ll warm up when you hike. Pack a puffy jacket you can pull out when you stop for a snack.
Avoid wearing cotton since it holds moisture. Opt for synthetics or wool. This goes for socks and underwear too.
Keep your footing with boots, icers & poles
Wear sturdy, waterproof footwear with a good tread and use extra caution in icy conditions.
Icers, or similar removable footwear traction devices, can help secure your footing and make it easier to walk and to balance on challenging terrain.
Hiking poles can help with stability on ice and snow by acting like extra limbs. When not using hiking poles, carry them horizontally with the points facing forward.
Fuel your body and stay hydrated
Hiking in the cold burns more calories, so bring extra snacks and drinks. Calorie-dense foods such as nuts and chocolate are great.
Dehydration can be a common problem in winter. It’s tempting not to drink as much when you’re cold and it’s not as easy to notice how much you are sweating. Make sure to bring and drink plenty of water.
Remember: the Bruce Trail is not maintained in the winter!
Trail conditions vary according to season and the weather. Hazards exist along the Bruce Trail. You are responsible for your own safety.
Article published on BruceTrail.org
(Sunday, November 28, 2021)
Only 4 more weeks to Christmas, have you began your Christmas shopping? It's ok, either have I ;) But the end of 2021 is fast approaching, and we haven't much time left, so don't waste it, sign up for the last few events of this season! Below, you will find two more day hikes and the Festival of Lights City Walk. You may also notice that the first event for 2022 is posted, Defy Gravity: Learn to Climb. This was a favorite in the past, and now that the pandemic is winding down, this event is once again available to us! Come out and learn the skills and techniques you need for indoor rock climbing, have some snacks and form new friendships. And don't worry, no one else will be there to see you fall, we have the entire gym all to ourselves. The Iceland trip is in the final stages of planning, and a price has been set. It will be a life changing 8 day trip where you will experience one of the most pristine areas on the planet. Watch the events page for that, it should be posted within the next two weeks. There are 10 idividuals who will have priority access to the 12 available spots, and then it will be open to the public.
That's all the news for this week. As always, stay safe, and happy hiking! Lenny Burch Niagara Adventure Club